Police lack infrastructure
In this region of India, the police has no night vision binoculars or sniffer dogs or land mine or metal detectors or any modern gadgetry.
Mere lip service and speeches to tackle Naxalites will not help. One needs to plug the gap in manpower and infrastructure first, remarked police officers after the recent address of CM Mr Naveen Patnaik at the district SPs conference held in Bhubaneswar.
One of the first and foremost issue that needs to be tackled is developing the basic infrastructure and investing in recruitment of more staff.
For 70 vehicles with the police, there are only 20 drivers, as a result more than 20 vehicles are in a rundown state and other are facing a similar predicament. There are a large number of vacancies that is creating problems in maintaining law and order situation when there is need.
"Thankfully the crime graph in Gajapati is not that alarming, or else not a single officer would have had the time to take rest. The vacancies if not filled up at the earliest will be a problem for all in the future," said one officer on condition of anonymity.
Out of the 28 posts of sub-inspectors there are 8 vacancies, while out of 24 ASI posts three are vacant. Out of 34 havildar posts there are five vacancies, and out of 290 required constables there are 40 vacancies.
The district has three platoons of armed police and one Grey Hound Squad but the strength of this needs to be upgraded in the face of more Naxalite activity. Similarly there are nine police stations and six out posts which needs more security arrangement and a massive facelift. "Compared to the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh where the police stations at Melliyputti, Patapatnam, Hiramandalam etc are practically like fortresses, we are sitting ducks to any surprise attack by the radicals if they have any such plans," viewed another police officer.
A few years back when Naxalite activities were at its peek almost all the police stations received adequate protection, but as a new strategy all the police stations have no weapon rooms and the same is kept under heavy security at another location.
To counter the Naxalites unlike in Andhra Pradesh there are no night vision binoculars or sniffer dogs or land mine or metal detectors or any modern gadgetry for the police here .
If the government is really serious over the Naxalite issue then it should immediately address the deficiencies in the infrastructure for the police, whose moral has to be kept high to tackle the situation.
Von: 28 September 2005, http://www.thestatesman.net